Much has been made in the press of late regarding the tax returns of the major Presidential candidates. This article is not focused on promoting either candidate, but an attempt to shed some light on these recent tax revelations.
Archive for John Stancil
The Internal Revenue Service announced on September 26, 2016, that it plans to begin private collection of certain federal tax debts. Four contactors have been selected to implement this program. The contractors are CBE Group, ConServe, Performant, and Pioneer Credit Recovery. The IRS appears to have done their homework in selecting reputable companies.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH) contains a number of tax provisions that are designed to reduce the amount of taxes paid by United States taxpayers. This act was signed by the President in December 2015. The provisions in the act are not new incentives, but made existing incentives permanent. This can be seen as somewhat significant as there is sentiment in Congress and elsewhere to reduce the tax benefit from charitable contributions. I would add that “permanent” in tax lingo means the provisions do not expire, but may be changed at any time by Congress.
When one embarks on looking at what might happen with taxes, that path is fraught with many hazards. What a candidate says may not be what is actually proposed. What the elected candidate proposes may be modified or totally shot down by Congress. What Congress passes may not be signed by the President. However, I have my crystal ball and can foresee what the future holds in terms of future changes in taxes. Yeah, right. Unfortunately, that crystal ball is extremely cloudy and I cannot say with certainty what will happen.
The background for the European Union (EU) assessing a $14.5 billion tax on Apple for its sales in Ireland is a rather complex maze of laws, treaties, and politics. It is not my purpose here to delve into those complexities. I am attempting a simple explanation of the issues involved and why the EU levied the tax, even though Apple and Ireland were both very content with thing the way there were.
If you are a college student or the parent of one, you are probably familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA. It is a long, tedious document to complete. Officially, it is supposed to take about 30 minutes to complete, but that time can expand significantly if you need to collect the information.
This is the fourth in a series of four articles on the mortgage interest deduction. (Read Part I, Part II, and Part III) Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular as a vehicle for retired taxpayers to help fund their retirement. It’s hard to watch TV very long without seeing a pitch for reverse mortgages. What are the characteristics of a reverse mortgage, what are the tax implications, and what do taxpayers need to be aware of in regard to these loans? These are sometimes referred to as lifetime mortgages or home equity conversion mortgages (HECM).
This is the third in a series of four articles on home mortgage interest. (Read Part I and Part II). There are several special situations relating to deductions for home mortgage interest and other costs. This is a brief overview of each. You should check with your tax professional should any of these apply to you.
Scammers are currently targeting students and parents, posing as the IRS and calling to collect payment of the non-existent “Federal Student Tax.” Callers are demanding immediate payment and if refused, threaten to report the student to the police. As this is merely an attempt to separate you from your money, your best response is to hang up. There is no such tax, and the IRS does not utilize such collection methods.
This is the second in a four-part series on home mortgages. (Click here to read Part 1 – The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction) We will examine what can be deducted as home mortgage interest. Interest on the debt is deductible up to the statutory limits on the amounts of deductible debt ($1,000,000 for acquisition debt, $100,000 for home equity debt). Interest on excess debt is personal debt and not deductible. In addition, any amount of home equity or refinanced debt that is not used build, buy, or improve the residence is also classified as non-deductible personal debt.
This is the first in a four-part series about home mortgage interest. One would think that deducting home mortgage interest on your taxes would be a simple, straightforward process. And for most taxpayers, it is. You get your 1098, enter the amount of interest shown on the form, and proceed to the next item. For others, the situation may not be quite so simple.